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MSF Reports Surge in Border Killings due to BSF Negligence

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Incidents of killing and injuring Bangladeshis along the Bangladesh-India border are on the rise again due to the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) refusing to adopt safe and effective measures, according to a Bangladeshi rights organization.

The Manabadhikar Shongskriti Foundation (MSF), led by Sultana Kamal, which tracks border killings, reported that four Bangladeshi nationals were killed and five others sustained bullet injuries in BSF firing along the border in the outgoing month of March. The MSF’s monthly report indicated that the number of killings remained the same in February.

Additionally, an elderly person was injured in a grenade explosion on the Zero line along the Bangladesh-Myanmar frontier in Naikhangchhory upazila, Bandarban district, during the period from March 1 to March 31. Furthermore, one youth was injured in a landmine explosion in the same frontier during this period.

Moreover, a youth injured during firing, reportedly by an armed individual attempting to enter Bangladeshi territory through the Ukhia frontier in Cox’s Bazar district, succumbed to his injuries in March. These incidents have caused panic among the people residing in frontier areas, as stated by the MSF.

The MSF believes that the government’s failure to protest against border killings raises questions among the people. “Such incidents on the frontier are never expected,” the organization added.

In addition to border killings and tensions, the MSF reported that twelve people died in prison custody during March. Of them, 11 were taken to the Medical College Hospital outside the jail, where they were declared dead.

The MSF prepared the report based on information published in various media outlets and also collected information through its own sources. According to the report, individuals posing as law enforcement agencies picked up three people during this period, later showing them as arrested in cases.

Violence against women and children, including rape, gang rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and suicides, showed a slight decline. Around 247 incidents of violence against women and children were reported in the month, 38 fewer than in February. Among these incidents, 38 were rapes, 9 were organized or gang rapes, and one was a murder after rape. Two disabled women were among the victims.

Moreover, at least 40 journalists faced different troubles during this period in fifteen incidents. Among them, 10 students were suspended from Dhaka International University (DIU) for forming a journalism committee on the campus and conducting campus reporting. Additionally, three received threats, eight were assaulted, and 17 journalists were attacked while performing their professional duties in March 2024.

Five incidents of minority torture were reported during the period in March. According to MSF statistics, casualties from mob beatings increased abnormally this month. Nine people were killed, and eight others were critically injured in seven incidents of mob beating in March. Of them, four were handed over to the police.

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Quota Reform Leaders Reject Govt Talks, Vow to Continue Protests

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Quota Reform Leaders Reject Govt Talks, Vow to Continue Protests

Leaders of the quota reform movement have resolutely refused to negotiate with the government, insisting that their movement will persist until their demands are met.

In a Facebook post, Hasnat Abdullah, a coordinator of the movement, declared, “No discussion through stepping onto blood.”

Asif Mahmud, another prominent leader, echoed this sentiment, stating, “There can be no dialogue with bullets. I would prefer death over this betrayal.”

He further elaborated, “On one side, there are bullets. On the other, there is a call for dialogue. We can’t sit for dialogue while stepping onto the blood of our brothers.”

Earlier, leaders of the quota reform movement accused the government of escalating the law and order situation towards violence, asserting that their movement was peaceful until the government’s intervention.

Vowing to continue their struggle, Asif Mahmud stated, “We will continue our protests till we achieve our demands for reformation of the quota system, reopening of the halls and campuses, making university campuses terror-free, withdrawing political forces from the campuses, and punishing the killers and attackers.”

He added, “The people of the country have encircled those who tried to corner us. No conspiracy will be able to derail our movement.”

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PM Sheikh Hasina Calls for Investment in Marine Resource Extraction

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged both local and international investors to invest in the extraction of marine resources from Bangladesh’s extensive sea areas.

“In order to fortify the blue economy through the diverse utilization of our marine resources, I call upon local and foreign investors to seize the opportunity to invest in Bangladesh. This will enable us to harness more of our marine resources,” she announced.

The Prime Minister made these remarks during the inauguration of the Bangladesh International Aquaculture and Seafood Show-2024 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka.

She emphasized the importance of adhering to proper standards in the collection, distribution, and processing of fish to boost exports, aiming to make fish the country’s second-largest source of foreign currency.

Sheikh Hasina pointed out that her government has made limited progress in harvesting fish and other sea resources from the deep sea due to a lack of interest from local investors.

“Therefore, we need foreign investment to advance in this area. This is the reality we must face,” she noted.

She also suggested that both local and foreign investors can collaborate in joint ventures or invest separately in this sector to achieve better results.

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Met Forecasts Rain and Thundershowers Nationwide

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The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has forecasted light to moderate and moderately heavy rainfall or thundershowers, accompanied by temporary gusty winds, across all eight divisions of the country over the next 24 hours, starting from 9 am today.

In its weather bulletin issued this morning, the BMD stated, “Light to moderate rain or thundershowers with temporary gusty wind is expected in a few places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions. Additionally, one or two places in Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, and Barisal divisions may experience similar conditions, with moderately heavy falls anticipated at several locations in Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions.”

The bulletin also highlighted that the current mild heat wave sweeping across the Rangpur division and the districts of Tangail, Chuadanga, Rajshahi, Pabna, Bogra, and Netrokona may persist.

Daytime temperatures are expected to rise slightly, while nighttime temperatures are likely to remain nearly unchanged throughout the country.

On Wednesday, the highest recorded temperature was 36.7 degrees Celsius, observed in Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Rajarhat. The lowest temperature recorded today was 26.0 degrees Celsius, noted in Bandarban and Teknaf.

Over the last 24 hours, rainfall amounted to 16 mm in Bandarban.

For the capital, the sun will set at 6:48 pm today and rise at 5:21 am tomorrow.

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